For Students

The University encourages ALL students to sign up for Direct Deposit to ensure timely processing and distribution of funds. This includes work study students who receive paychecks and students who may be due funds for other reasons. Guidance for the direct deposit registration process are available on the ‘Update Account Information page: https://www.maine.edu/information-technology/support/update-account-information/.

(Last reviewed/updated: 06/16/2020)

UMS Students –

Today marks the end of classes in a semester that has been unlike any other in the history of our universities.

Your academic and personal lives were upended by the sudden onset of a worldwide pandemic unseen in a century. To protect the health and safety of our campuses, communities, and state, our universities had no choice but to empty their residence halls and transition all work and instruction to online and remote modalities.

Many in our families have lost jobs, and many others have struggled to balance work, learning, and childcare from home. The pandemic’s unprecedented disruptions have been especially tough for the thousands of you who are the first in your family to attend college and who may have relied on their campus communities for support not available at home.

From the start, minimizing the pandemic’s impact on you has guided every decision I’ve made.

That’s why I immediately pledged that our residential students would be reimbursed for their unused room and board charges. And then we returned that money to our students within days of the closure of our residence halls, making us among the first in the nation to do so.

And that’s why our Presidents, Chief Business Officers, and Financial Aid Directors have been working around the clock to determine how to best disburse the $8.63 million that Congress provided to our universities through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (also known as the CARES Act) to help students pay for emergency expenses caused by the pandemic’s disruption to our university operations.

Last week, we decided that 85 percent of each university’s CARES Act student money will be distributed to all eligible undergraduate and graduate students, with award amounts varying based on the number of credit hours you are taking this semester. Today, I am pleased to let you know that we’ve started processing those payments – which for most students will be several hundred dollars – again making UMS a national leader in providing support directly to our students as soon as possible.

Eligible students who have a FAFSA on file should not need to do anything to receive your payment, which should come as early as next week via direct deposit or check. For those who have not completed a FAFSA in the past, your university will be providing details in the coming days on how you can certify your eligibility for these funds so we can get them to you without further delay.

They’ll also let you know about a simple process by which those with additional financial need can apply for special emergency funds that have been set aside using the remaining 15 percent of the CARES student monies your university received, which will be further supplemented by a portion of CARES dollars received for institutional relief that we’ve decided to redirect to our students.

UMS deeply regrets that U.S. Department of Education guidelines do not permit us to pay CARES Act money to our international students, who we value as essential members of our university communities. The disruptions they’ve experienced are no less than – and in many cases exceed – that of other members of our communities. I’ve therefore asked our Presidents to look for other ways to support international students using unrestricted resources, including the privately raised crisis funds already in place at several of our universities. Students who were enrolled in exclusively online programs before the onset of the pandemic are also ineligible for relief under the federal guidelines.

I’d like to specifically acknowledge the contributions of your student representatives to the UMS Board of Trustees. They provided invaluable input to my team on how this money should be distributed, showing incredible care and compassion for their fellow students in those conversations.

In closing, I’d like to pay tribute to you. Your determination and dedication to stick with your studies through the disruptions and anxieties caused by the pandemic has been nothing short of extraordinary. The resiliency you’ve shown will serve you well and far into the future.

Best of luck on your exams next week — you are almost there, and we are right there with you. And to our graduating seniors, if I might share a part of a favorite Irish proverb, may the road rise up to meet you, and may the wind always be at your back.

Sincerely,

Dannel P. Malloy
Chancellor

(Last reviewed/updated: 05/01/2020)

The University of Maine System’s universities have been allocated $17.2 million in funding through the federal CARES Act, which was supported by Maine’s Congressional Delegation. The Act requires that half of these dollars ($8.63 million) go directly to students to cover emergency expenses arising from the disruption in campus operations.

UMS universities will begin distributing CARES Act funds to eligible students starting the week of May 4. Federal guidance precludes the distribution of CARES Act funds to international students, DACA students, and students exclusively enrolled in online programs as of March 13, 2020.

Hybrid Allocation for Distribution

85% for Direct Disbursement Based on Credit Hours: University of Maine System universities will distribute 85% of each university’s allocation directly to undergraduate and graduate students based on the number of credit hours a student is taking in the current semester. For the purpose of payments students will be grouped in three tiers:

  • Tier 1:  0.1 – 5.99 credit hours
  • Tier 2:  6- 11.99 credit hours
  • Tier 3:  12-plus credit hours

Non-degree students, employees receiving UMS Employee tuition benefits, and Early College students will NOT be eligible for CARES Act payments. Payments to students will vary based on university allocations and tier-level. Many students will receive a payment of a few hundred dollars.

15% for Student Emergencies: UMS universities will set aside 15% of the available CARES Act funding for emergency payments to meet critical student needs. Students will be able to apply on their respective campuses for emergency funds until the resources are expended.

Maine Law: The University of Maine School of Law will distribute 52% of its CARES Act student funding directly to students and use the remainder of the student resources to support emergency fund requests.

Direct Deposit: Students are urged to sign up for Direct Deposit immediately to expedite disbursements and receipt of payments. Students can visit this resource guide for instructions on how to sign up for Direct Deposit.

CARES Act Distribution Concludes Payments to Students: The University of Maine System has previously paid more than $12.7 million in student Room and Board adjustments and refunds back to its residential students. The universities have also maintained commitments to pay nearly 5,000 federal work study and non-federal work study students through the semester. The CARES Act direct payments to students concludes planned reimbursements and/or payments for students for the spring 2020 semester.

(Last reviewed/updated: 04/24/2020)

The Chief Academic Officers of Maine’s Public Universities have agreed on the following actions in support of University and High School Students:

  • P/F option: The universities of the University of Maine System will accept any spring 2020 P grades (indicating work that is C- or higher) from any US accredited institution (high school, college, or university) for transfer into any UMS program or university. The universities will also mitigate any impacts those grades may have on scholarship eligibility.
  • AP: The universities of the University of Maine System will continue to accept Advanced Placement grades from spring 2020 courses as previously determined by program or university. There is no change in this practice.
  • GPAs: The universities of the University of Maine System will be flexible and understanding about the impact COVID-19 disruptions may be having on students and their spring 2020 grades. They will make every effort to mitigate impacts on students relating to academic actions (e.g. academic probation, suspension, etc.) that emerge from less than satisfactory GPAs for spring 2020.

The Chief Academic Officers have also agreed to make sure departments and staff at their universities know about these decisions and will follow through accordingly in any outreach or communications.

FINALIZED 4/18/20

(Last reviewed/updated: 04/21/2020)

On Thursday, March 9, the University of Maine System received initial guidance from the U.S. Department of Education regarding allocations and use of federal CARES Act money.

$17.2 million in federal CARES Act funding is being allocated to support University of Maine System institutions. Half of these funds, ($8.63 million) must be disbursed as direct emergency grants to students. Chancellor Dannel Malloy and the Presidents of Maine’s public universities met today to begin developing plans for timely distribution of the funds. University guidance on CARES Act distributions and adjustments in students fees will be available by April 24.

(Last reviewed/updated: 04/17/2020)

On Sunday, March 22 the Chancellor approved payment to non-Federal Work Study students during the period of March 15 – April 4, 2020.

Eligibility

Student employees (graduate and undergraduate) on non-Federal Work Study arrangements who worked during the six week period prior to March 15, 2020 and who currently meet their campus’ eligibility criteria for student employment will be eligible for this payment.

Calculation of Payment

Non-Federal Work Study Student employees (graduate and undergraduate) who are unable to work or worked less than their average hours will be paid an amount at least equal to their average earnings during the period of March 15 – April 4, 2020. Recognizing that this period includes spring break, the following information outlines the method of calculation of the COVID-19 adjustment to wages:

  • To determine the payment amount per week, UMS will utilize *average hours worked multiplied by the employee’s hourly rate. This rate will be applied for each week during the period of 3/15/20 – 4/4/20. If an employee has worked during this period, actual hours worked will be subtracted from the established weekly average hours for the purpose of determining the remaining payable earnings. This remaining payable amount is the COVID-19 adjustment.
  • Average hours are calculated by evaluating actual hours worked and approved by the supervisor for the 6 week period from January 26 until March 7. Only weeks in which time was submitted are included. The total hours for the period will be divided by the number of weeks where work occurred. The result will be the average number of hours per week.

Payment of the COVID-19 adjustment will be made in the April 10, 2020 payroll.

Questions?

Contact Payroll at (207) 581-9104 or payroll@maine.edu.

(Last reviewed/updated: 03/25/2020)

Maine’s public universities are all extending the deadline for students to choose Pass/Fail options for their course work in recognition of the extraordinary transitions students, faculty, and staff are making in their personal lives and in their academic plans.

“For many students the learning modalities we’ll use to finish this semester will be different then how we started and all of us have had to make a fast adjustment to a new but necessary way of life.” said Chancellor Malloy. “We will need to be patient with each other, learn quickly from our mistakes, and adapt to flexible solutions that always put students first now and when we are eventually able to transition back to in-person instruction.”

Details of the Pass/Fail extensions, other grading options, and implications for grade point averages and prerequisites vary by campus and can be found at the following links:

(Last reviewed/updated: 03/25/2020)

Room and Board adjustments for students who have checked out of Residence Halls on University of Maine System campuses are now being posted to students’ accounts. After careful consideration the University of Maine System decided on a 46% credit adjustment on both room charges and board charges.

The percentage is based on 102 days of the semester the student would have been in Residence Hall; there were 47 days remaining in the term as of March 13. This percentage will be applied at all campuses. Once adjustments are posted campus staff will begin processing refunds for those eligible. The adjustments and issuing of refunds is expected to be complete by March 31, 2020.

Decisions on adjustment to meal plan charges for those who have remained on campus will be determined soon. Once a decision has been reached for your campus, adjustments will be posted and any refunds for those eligible will be processed immediately.

Direct Deposit for Refunds: The University recommends enrollment in direct deposit to expedite receipt of refund dollars. In the event you are unable to participate in direct deposit the University recommends reviewing and updating your refund address on MaineStreet.

(Last reviewed/updated: 03/25/2020)

UMS is implementing a plan to continue paying Federal Work Study students who have been actively employed in the last 6 weeks AND who are not able to work via remote arrangements.

Effective March 22, the next pay period start date, campuses of the University of Maine System will use an allowable method to pay qualifying Federal Work Study students. Payment(s) will be processed via payroll in partnership with the Financial Aid Office for the final three full pay periods of the spring semester. Based on your earnings history, you may not reach the allowable maximum. In no case can a student’s earnings exceed the maximum allowable offer.

This provision, allowable by the U.S. Department of Education, is being exercised in the University of Maine System in order to provide relief to qualifying Federal Work Study students who are engaged in online classes this spring. Kindly note that based upon federal guidelines and institutional policy, Federal Work Study funding will cease when a student drops below 6 credit hours or if the entire award allotment has been earned.

Please note this information is subject to change pending additional guidance from the US Department of Education.

Students are strongly encouraged to follow these instructions to receive pay via direct deposit if you have not already done so.

Questions should be referred to financial aid counselors for assistance and guidance.

(Last reviewed/updated: 3/18/2020)

In addition to taking helpful precautions to protect your physical well-being, it can also be important to maintain mental and emotional well-being. If you’re experiencing stress or adverse effects as a result of the COVID-19 virus, here are a few resources that may be helpful to you:

Dial 2-1-1 Maine for information and referral to community resources or the Statewide Intentional Warm Line at 1-866-771-9276 to talk with a trained peer support specialist who has personal experience with mental health recovery.

Also, please contact your campus Counseling Services for information and scheduling:

  • UMA Bangor: (207) 262-7835
  • UMA Augusta: (207) 621-3044
  • UMaine: (207) 581-1392
  • UMM: (207) 255 1343
  • UMF: (207) 778-7034
  • UMFK: (207) 834-7822
  • UMPI: (207) 768-9791
  • USM: (207) 780-5411

(Last reviewed/updated: 03/14/2020)